MANCHESTER: In a winner-takes-all tie between Great Britain and France, Daniel Evans and Neal Skupski delivered in the deciding doubles match to guide Britain to the Davis Cup quarterfinal.
In front of an electric crowd, Evans and Skupski saved four match points to earn a hard-fought 1-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(6) victory against the Frenchmen on Sunday as Britain beat France 2-1.
The win earned Britain top spot in group B and booked their place in November's final-eight week in Malaga, where a quarter-final against either Italy or Novak Djokovic's Serbia awaits.
Evans and Skupski initially struggled against their skilled opponents, but gained momentum as the match progressed. Although they were unable to break the French pair's serve in the first two sets, the British duo stepped up their game during the tie-break and managed to even the score.
A nail-biting final set remained on serve, despite Evans recovering from a double fault that brought up three match points at 5-4.
Evans saved a first serve as Roger-Vasselin hit a forehand into the net, let another return go just long on the second, and then saw another forehand from the Frenchman go wide on the third. The British pair saved another match point on Skupski's serve at 6-5 before converting their second opportunity in the deciding tie-break.
Earlier, Evans had given Great Britain a 1-0 lead in Manchester when he defeated Frenchman Arthur Fils 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The World No. 27 Evans was competing in his 25th Davis Cup tie, drawing level with third-placed Andy Murray on the most played by a British player.
Ugo Humbert then levelled the tie when he downed Cameron Norrie 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-5 in two hours and 47 minutes, which meant that the doubles rubber would decide who would go through to the final-eight.